U.S. vetoes Palestinian bid for full UN membership

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19th April 2024 – (Hong Kong) The United States exercised its veto power against a resolution that would have recommended full UN membership for Palestine at United Nations Security Council. The decision came as the council deliberated on a proposal advocating the admission of “the State of Palestine” to the United Nations.

The draft resolution garnered 12 votes in favour, with two abstentions and one vote against, from the U.S. To pass, a resolution requires a minimum of nine favourable votes and no objections from the permanent members of the council, which include the U.S., the U.K., France, Russia, and China.

This recent development marks a continuation of the complex diplomatic efforts by the Palestinian leadership to achieve full member-state status at the UN, a campaign that commenced in earnest in 2011. However, their initial attempt did not receive sufficient support within the Security Council to meet the threshold of nine favourable votes.

Despite this early setback, the Palestinian cause saw a significant advancement in November 2012 when the UN General Assembly elevated Palestine’s status from “UN observer” to “non-member observer state.” This upgrade, achieved by a substantial majority, allowed Palestinian authorities to join various international organizations, including the International Criminal Court.

The renewed push for full membership, backed by the 140 countries that recognize Palestine as an independent state, was recently reviewed by the UN Committee on the Admission of New Members.

Addressing the Security Council, Ziad Abu Amr, the special representative of the Palestinian president, articulated that the resolution’s adoption would rekindle hope among Palestinians for a dignified existence within their own state. He lamented the fading of such aspirations due to what he described as the overt rejection of a two-state solution by the Israeli government, particularly in the aftermath of recent conflicts in Gaza.